PUSHKIN, Alexander (1799-1837). Evgenii Onegin. Roman v stikhakh. Gl. 1. [Eugene Onegin. A novel in verse. Chapter 1]. St Petersburg: at the press of the Department of Public Instruction, 1825. [With:] Evgenii Onegin. Roman v stikhakh. Gl. 2. Moscow, A. Semen at the Imperial Medico-Surgical Academy, 1826. [With:] Evgenii Onegin. Roman v stikhakh. Gl. 3-8. St Petersburg, Department of Public Education, 1827-32.
The first edition of the most important work in Russian literature, Pushkin's masterpiece, in the original parts: of the utmost rarity. The opening chapter in the original wrappers: 'a bibliographical rarity of the highest order' (Smirnov-Sokol'skii, p. 287). The eight parts were published serially over the course of 7 years. Smirnov-Sokol'skii's legendary collection featured a bound set of the Onegin parts, but did not include a separate Chapter I in the original wrappers; 'in all my time collecting I could only find five of the chapters, and to this day I have not been able to find an example in original wrappers of the first edition of Chapter I...' (p.287). RBH and ABPC show a single record of any part of Onegin in the original wrappers having been offered at auction (part I, Eden Martin sale, Christie’s, 2018). Kilgour 877, Smirnov-Sokol'skii, Pushkin, 5, 7, 11, 15-16, 22 and 28.
3 volumes, 12mo. Vol. 1: (183 x 113mm, uncut with deckle edges). Complete. (Edges chipped, old paper repairs to inner margins in 14 ff., small tear to inner margin throughout likely from an earlier fold, longer but clean tear to the last leaf without loss to text, the same leaf creased and soiled at verso, some marginal soiling, the half-title glued at gutter to the front wrapper). Original blue printed publisher’s wrappers (lower part of the spine and lower wrapper perished, upper wrapper frayed at the edges and soiled; ‘printed in Russia’ stamped on the upper wrapper). Provenance: A. Nanisov (ownership inscription on title, longer inscription on half-title dated 1830) – bookseller V. Klochkov (label to verso of last leaf). Vol. 2: (154 x 97mm). (Title supplied in facsimile, lacking the half-title, first leaf repaired at gutter, some light spotting). Modern half morocco. Vol. 3: 6 parts in 5 vols bound in one, (a few spots). Russian contemporary half calf, red morocco lettering-piece (foot of spine chipped, upper hinge repaired, surface rubbed).